Sweaty Palms and…Joy?

Yesterday I did something that made my palms sweat and my heart race.

I shared my story (the one I told you about yesterday)…publicly on Facebook. With my FRIENDS. AND. FAMILY.

I know. Can you even believe this?

If you are anything like my sister you are laughing a little. My sister is the yin to my yang. An open book to my locked diary. A heart on a sleeve to my hidden tattoo. (I don’t have a hidden tattoo but if I did I WOULD NOT TELL YOU ABOUT IT.)

My sister called me shortly after I posted the article on Facebook and our conversation went something like this:

Sister: “You posted your article! I didn’t realize your article talked about your miscarriage.”

Me: “YESIDIDSHAREANDYESITDOESBUTISTHATOK?HOLYCRAPDIDIOVERSHARE???”

Sister: “Sarah, anyone who knows you would never accuse you of oversharing.” Ok that is a paraphrase but essentially she reminded me of the fact that I am not exactly easy to read. 

She also pointed out how I wrote privately in this blog for a year before even going public. So yeah, baby steps for me.

I’ve been writing for almost another year on my now published blog (yay!) and those baby steps all led up to yesterday. I knew I was ready but still: sweaty palms. (Plus I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder so trust me, sweaty palms are basically my jam.)

So I shared it and…everyone was amazing. Overly amazing actually. And of course they were! But then something unexpected happened:

  • First I felt tears
  • Then I felt…joy?!

What was this? I work from home so I did what I usually need to do in situations like this: I talked out loud to my beagles.

“Beagles….I am crying but I am not sad. Am I relieved? Kind of. But, I think I feel joy. Yes, joy. And love. BEAGLES I DO NOT UNDERSTAND!”

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The beagles: great listeners, but not much for conversation.

Relief, yes. And the relief wasn’t even because people liked it and were being so kind and loving — that was wonderful but there was something else to it. I felt relief that my story had been told.

And joy, definitely joy.

I still didn’t get the joy bit. Frankly it took me by surprise. I did some googling for Brené Brown quotes about vulnerability. Because if you have a question about vulerability you have to ask Brené. (LOVE ME SOME BRENÉ.)

Well, lo and behold I found this little gem:

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Image source.

Yes, exactly Brené! When you are vulnerable and share your story about loss and grief and miscarriage, it is not crazy to feel joy apparently. Because sharing your story = connection = joy = being seen.

And then, because I am obsessed with Brené, I kept looking through quotes and found this one. And I was all, YES PREACH IT BRENÉ!

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Image source. .

That is it: I was walking inside my story. That is why it felt good. The sweaty-palm bit, well that is what happens when we put ourselves out there. I know that. But the joy from telling the story, from connection…I wasn’t expecting that. Icing on the cake, my friends.

(And, to those of you who read yesterday and have known me for a zillion years and were so kind and loving…thank you. I love you.)

Yours in sweat and tears and, yes, joy,

Sarah

Have you experienced this before?! I’d love to hear how your own sweaty-palm-moments led to joy. Because wow, right? 

 

Part III: Then it Will Become Buoyant and Light. (My healing journey after loss.)

The post I am going to share with you today –I wrote part of it six months ago but never published it. It turns out that was because I was meant to share it with you today.

I’ve been blogging about my healing journey from grief. In fact, this blog was born from grief.

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It looks prettier than it smelled

On the one year anniversary of losing my mom I made a visit to a beach–amid stinking, rotting shells (nothing says peace and contemplation like rotting sea creatures)–and I went within and heard a small still voice that said you need to write. 

So I started this blog. Ok, it took me another year to actually publish the blog, because big steps that are often very good for us are also usually very scary.

Since that day I have been on an epic journey within. I figured, why not reflect on all that has unfolded in less than a year?

Would you like a recap?

  1. I created a flow chart. (WHO DOESN’T LOVE A GOOD VISUAL?)
  2. Part I–shared here–I explained how grief begets griefMy mom died, I healed, more grief surfaced, I healed some more, and then…
  3. Part II: life throws a curveball. Just as I emerge from healing and more healing, I lose a pregnancy. My mother (deceased) chimes in and reminds me to choose love and happiness.

Which brings me to today.

No animated GIFS today. Just tender-hearted love.

We are at Part 3: Love and Mercy.

So to set the scene: there I was, having a miscarriage. The baby whose due date was the date my mother died–this baby was not to be.

I was in so much emotional pain. So very much. 

I made a choice. I could hold these cards, these unwanted cards that had been dealt to me, and I could throw them down in bitterness and defeat.

Or I could take these cards and place them gently over my heart and weep.

Weep for the child who would not be. Weep for all the losses I had sustained and survived.

I also realized something else: that I did not have to do it alone. 

I could extend a hand out for another to hold. Because you see, when your hands are full of cards you don’t want dealt to you, there is someone else whose hands are free. And one day you will be that person with free hands and it will be your turn to hold another’s hand.

I will share my own words to myself written after this difficult passage:

There is so much I want to tell you, Sarah from months ago, Sarah from one, two years ago.

I want to tell you, it is ok that you could not grieve because you had to parent, because you had to manage so many life changes at one time.

I want to tell you to be gentle with yourself.

That this is so hard and heavy, and I see your pain.

I want you to know that it is so heavy for a reason.

That the pain is designed to be heavy—to become unbearable—because that is what makes us realize we were never meant to heal alone.

That the only way to release it is to join hands with others and form a circle around it. To lift it up into the sky together.

Then it will become buoyant and light. It will disintegrate before your eyes.


Tomorrow: Part IV of the journey

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